February 26, 2014 at 4:53 PM
SOUTH ORANGE – New Jersey. Baseball. February. Seton Hall gambled on the weather in scheduling its home opener for this afternoon. And lost.
The Seton Hall Pirates baseball team will have to wait to play in front of their home crowd as their home opener against Lehigh has been postponed due to inclement weather and leftover accumulations of snow.
The snow and ice from previous snow storms still remain on Owen T. Carroll Field, and with inclement weather predicted, SHU Athletics decided to postpone the game, according to Assistant Athletics Director for Communications Matthew Sweeney.
“Snow removal is a possibility, but ice removal can be a very difficult process,” Sweeney said. “We need to be sure that during any removal process that the turf isn’t compromised in any way.”
The turf field, renovated in 2006 and then again in 2010, has seen snow before and typically can withstand the weather whenever the season comes close to starting.
“Our turf field gives us much more flexibility in terms of ability to play through adverse weather conditions,” Sweeney said. “We’ve had delays and rain outs in the past, but in the vast majority of those cases, we’ve been able to make the games up later in the season.”
The Pirates (4-2) have to wait until March 14 when they host a three-game series with Manhattan to play their first home game of the 2014 campaign. A make-up date for the game has not yet been determined.
“We have another three weeks of melt to work with," Sweeney said. "We’re confident that the vast majority of the snow will be gone by that point.”
According to Sweeney this is the earliest the Pirates have opened their season at home in program history. The home opener typically isn’t held until mid-March so the team is not used to dealing with the difficulties of winter weather before games.
SHU must ensure that all of the players involved are not in any danger with the field conditions, and unfortunately with all of the leftover snow and incoming snow, that is not an option, Sweeney said.
“The well-being of our student-athletes is always at the forefront of our decision-making,” Sweeney said. “If we ever thought that our student-athletes or our opponents were in any danger due to adverse weather conditions, we would delay or postpone.”
The Pirates will play next at the University of Arizona, opening the three game series on Feb. 28.